Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Blade Runner

From: a.n.smith (
Date: 27 Jan 2000

> >I skip the parts where the hero tell all about his/her political agenda,
> >plight of the homeless, how her/his grandmother saved him/her from
> >alcoholism, how his/her buddy married "the girl/guy," and all the parts
> >about how he/she "feels." (Being PC can get tedious)
>Sorry, but bitching about the evils of
> political correctness, especially when it has nothing to do with the
> topic at hand, is what's really tedious.

But I believe there is a crop of crime writing in the 90s that seems to latch on to the type of bestseller pop-psych therapy ideas mentioned above, which isn't really as PC as it is a bow towards 1) A market that eats up simple answers to deep questions of existence, and 2) A mainstream which likes big emotions, big symbols, big metaphor.....

So then, we've got a blockbuster/mainstream mentality putting on a hardboiled coat and passing itself off as the real thing. The books with nuance of character, things that surprise us, things that don't tend toward a "herd mentality", those books don't get the attention and sales, even though they are just better books.

Sometimes, some of the Real Thing gets attention, like Lehane's work, and Pelecanos (speaking of which, a fine interview of them together on the website for Crescent Blue Magazine. I don't have the exact URL right now), Ellroy, etc. But what really gets USA Today notice and People magazine notice are the books that don't challenge as much as confirm the things American society finds interesting right now.

I guess I'm thinking of this because I'm slogging through Freud right now as well, and am finding I think he's full of crap (as most people have already figured out, but why they hold on to him so tightly in Lit Crit guess: easier to analyze with a system like that than deal with the possible realization that there ain't no rhyme or reason).

Neil Smith Plots With Guns (

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